Understanding your Writing Coach Clarity score

14 Nov 2019

The nthuse Writing Coach will eliminate unconscious bias and boost the readability of your job adverts. It does this by analysing your writing for four key things:

  1. Correctness, spelling and grammar
  2. Clarity, readability and jargon
  3. Biased or non-inclusive language
  4. Structure and format

In this article, we’ll explain the importance of clarity and readability in your job adverts and how nthuse calculates your clarity score.

The importance of clarity and readability in job ads

According to the Commons Public Accounts Committee, up to 16 million adults – nearly half the UK workforce – are holding down jobs despite having the reading and writing skills expected of children leaving primary school.

However, most job adverts have a reading level over 18. That’s the same level as academic papers and legal documents, so there’s a mismatch between our population’s reading level and the way we write our job adverts.

“But I’m hiring rocket scientists. I’m looking for people that are highly intelligent.”

Reading level doesn’t just affect how much of your advert people understand. It affects how quickly and easily jobseekers can scan your job advert for important information – regardless of their reading and writing skills.

The lower your advert’s reading level, the easier it will be for candidates to engage with your job advert and work out whether it’s right for them. Using plain language and simple sentence structures will help you:

  • Get your message across in the shortest time possible
  • Avoid misunderstandings
  • Reach a larger audience
  • Be understood by people who use English as a second language

There’s a misconception that long sentences, big words and showy vocabulary make you sound smarter or more professional. It’s simply not true.

A 2012 study by Christopher Trudeau found that 80% of people preferred sentences written in plain English. It also found that people with specialist knowledge had an even greater preference for plain language, because those with the highest literacy levels tend to have the most to read. They don’t have time to wade through pages of complicated content. They certainly don’t have time to read your 5 double-sided A4 job advert.